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Trade Mark Registration

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Registering your trade mark at the Intellectual Property Office can bring significant benefits to your business. It gives you exclusive rights to use your mark for the business, goods and services that it covers in the UK. Registration lasts for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely.

The use of the registered symbol discourages others from using your trade mark without permission and registration makes it easier to take legal action against anyone that does. Charges may also be brought against counterfeiters by the Trading Standards authorities or the Police.

Importantly, once a brand has added significant value to its trademark, owners can leverage that trademark by licensing it, franchising it or selling it.

Before you apply to register a trade mark it is important to check that someone else has not registered the same mark first. If you apply to register an identical or similar trademark to someone else, they will be notified and may object to your registration. It is advisable therefore to carry out a search at the trademark registry before making your application.

Once you are satisfied that the mark you would like to register will not be objected to then you can make an application to the Intellectual Property Office. This is done using form TM3. The application must meet certain criteria and in order for the application to avoid rejection; the mark:

  • Must not describe the goods or services or any of their characteristics
  • Cannot be customary in your trade
  • Must be distinctive
  • Must not three dimensional shapes if that shape resembles the goods you sell
  • Must not be specially protected emblems
  • Must not be offensive
  • Must not be against the law
  • Must not be deceptive

It is important that you get the mark right in your application as it cannot be altered once submitted. The application should also list all the goods and services that you would like covered as more cannot be added afterwards. Once completed the form should then sent to the Trade Marks Registry at the Intellectual Property Office with a fact sheet and a cheque for the required fee.

Once submitted the Intellectual Property Office will consider your application. If it is accepted the trademark will be published in the Trade Marks Journal. If no one then objects, the trademark will be registered two months later. Following registration you will receive a certificate of registration.

If you need advice in respect of registration or protection of your trademark Rollingsons has experienced lawyers who can assist you. For more information please contact James Crighton via e-mail or by telephone on 0207 611 4848.